Friday Mar 07, 2014

Friday Spotlight: Frequently Asked Questions about Oracle Linux

It is Friday and that means it is time for our Spotlight! 

Our spotlight today is the recently updated Oracle Linux FAQ. This is an excellent document that features some of the questions that everyone asks about Oracle Linux and Oracle Linux support. We cover variety of topics including general definitions, compatibility, support, pricing, indemnification, migration and many more.. 

Here's one of the questions as an example:

Q: What is DTrace for Oracle Linux?

A: DTrace is a comprehensive dynamic tracing framework that was initially developed for the Oracle Solaris operating system, and is now available to Oracle Linux customers. DTrace is designed to give operational insights that allow users to tune and troubleshoot the operating system. DTrace provides Oracle Linux developers with a tool to analyze performance, and increase observability into the systems they own to see how they work. DTrace enables higher quality applications development, reduced downtime, lower cost, and greater utilization of existing resources. It is available to download from ULN for Oracle Linux Support customers. 

Read more in the newly published FAQ.

Have a great weekend!  

Wednesday Feb 19, 2014

Webinar:How to Save Time and Cost with Nimble Storage SmartStack for Oracle with Cisco UCS (Feb 25)


When: February 25, 11am PST/2pm EST

Panelists:

Michele Resta, Director of Linux and Virtualization Alliances, Oracle, John McAbel, Senior Product Manager, Cisco and Ibby Rahmani, Solutions Marketing, Nimble Storage 

For CIOs and IT managers, continuously tuning IT infrastructure to support evolving environments, rapidly provisioning more resources to support growing database environments, maintaining services levels and staying within budgets, especially in rapid growth environments is hard. To address these challenges, Nimble Storage, along with Oracle, and Cisco offers a converged infrastructure to deliver adaptive performance with high availability, capacity savings, efficient data protection, and improved staff productivity while handling rapid growth.

In this webinar you will learn how you can benefit from Nimble Storage SmartStack with Oracle and Cisco. The solution provides pre-tested, validated architectures and documented best practices for Oracle Database environments with Oracle Linux with Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel and Oracle VM.

SmartStack, built on best-of-breed components, delivers the performance and reliability needed for deploying Oracle on a single symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) server or Oracle Real Application Clusters (RAC) on multiple nodes. 

Register today


Tuesday Oct 08, 2013

Oracle Linux 5.10 has been released

We're happy to announce the availability of Oracle Linux 5.10, the tenth update release for Oracle Linux 5. ISO images will soon be available from the Oracle Software Delivery Cloud and the individual RPM packages have already been published to our public yum repository. This release includes the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 2 (2.6.39-400), Oracle's recommended kernel for Oracle Linux. For further details, please see the Oracle Linux 5.10 Release Notes.

Oracle Linux can be downloaded, used and distributed free of charge and updates and errata are freely available. For support, you are free to decide which of your systems you want to obtain a support subscription for, and at what level each system should be supported. This makes Oracle Linux an ideal choice for your development, testing and production systems - you decide which support coverage is the best for each of your systems individually, while keeping all of them up-to-date and secure.

Wednesday Sep 25, 2013

Wednesday is Full of Great Excitement in San Francisco!

How can we top today's activities in San Francisco?? 

First there is Americas Cup Finals where Oracle Team America is about to win, Customer appreciation concert featuring Maroon 5, San Francisco Giants vs LA Dodgers game.. too much excitement going on but we have some great events at Oracle OpenWorld as well.

 Our Oracle Linux Sessions today:

 10:15am Oracle Linux: Diagnostics and Troubleshooting (Greg Marsden)  Westin- City

 1:15pm  HOL: Getting started with Linux Container (Lenz Grimmer)  Marriott Marquis-Salon 5/6

Visit one of our demopods:

Migration Made Easy: Red Hat and SUSE Linux to Oracle Linux Moscone South, SC-144

Oracle Linux: The Best Enterprise Linux Moscone South, SC-146

Oracle Linux and Virtualization Pavilion 

Visit the Oracle Linux and Virtualization Pavilion to hear why leading ISVs and IHV partners support Oracle Linux and Oracle VM. The partners attending to Linux and Virtualization Pavilion this year are:  Beyondtrust, HP, Dell, Emulex, SAS, TrendMicro, NimbleStorage

We are also hosting an event in the pavilion :

"Meet the Experts" session today 3pm  with Wim Coekaerts, Sr.VP of Oracle Linux and Virtualization Engineering as the guest with developers, experts from Oracle Linux and Oracle VM. 

Visit this session and you can to talk to our experts you can get a limited edition T-Shirt and be in the drawing for a cool penguin.

 Have a great day and GO Oracle Team USA and Oracle Linux team !

Tuesday Sep 24, 2013

Meet the Oracle Linux and Virtualization Experts at Oracle Openworld

Where are these penguins going??

They are going to:

 "Meet the Experts" session on Wed, 9/25 3pm

Oracle Linux and Virtualization Pavilion, Moscone South #2021.

Our Sr.VP of Oracle Linux and Virtualization Engineering, Wim Coekaerts will be there to take your tricky questions, we will also have our Product Managers, engineers and developers from Oracle Linux and Oracle VM teams to chat. 

You can also get your hands on a "Limited edition" Oracle Linux and Oracle VM T-Shirt. Don't miss this event!

Are you coming? 

YOU ARE INVITED: Oracle Linux Customer Presentations Today @OPENWORLD

It was a full day yesterday at Oracle Openworld but today is more special because we have two customer sessions and Hands-On Lab. Come and attend our sessions for an insight into how the customers are implementing Oracle Linux. 

Tuesday, 9/25 Customer Sessions are:

Oracle Linux Technical Deep Dive: Reliability, Availability, and Scalability
Yoshinori Saiga, NTT Docomo
Michele Casey, Oracle
Lenz Grimmer, Oracle
10:30 AM - 11:30 AM Westin San Francisco - Franciscan I CON9531
Why Is Oracle Linux the Best Linux for Running Oracle Database?
Steve Fluge, Bank of America
Ravitej Animi, Oracle
Sumanta Chatterjee, Oracle
3:45 PM - 4:45 PM Westin San Francisco - Franciscan II CON9543

 Hands-On Lab for Tuesday, 9/24:

Oracle Linux Package and Patch Management Solutions
Timothy Hill, Oracle
Avi Miller, Oracle
10:30 AM - 1:00 PM Marriott Marquis - Salon 10A HOL10147

We would like to invite you one more time to our Demo at Moscone South, Server and Storage Demogrounds. You can grab an Oracle Linux and Oracle VM DVD while you are there.

Oracle Linux: The Best Enterprise Linux Moscone South, Center - SC-146

Oracle Linux and Virtualization Pavilion (Booth #2021) 

Also Come and visit our Oracle Linux and Virtualzation Pavilion where our Partners are presenting their solutions for Oracle Linux and Oracle VM.

Oracle Linux and Oracle VM provide the most cost-effective and integrated infrastructure solution in the market. By taking a holistic approach that addresses all layers of the enterprise data center, Oracle Linux and Virtualization solutions with partner products can help companies transform into effective service providers that support business priorities at lower cost. Visit the Oracle Linux and Virtualization Pavilion to hear why leading ISVs and IHV partners support Oracle Linux and Oracle VM. The partners attending to Linux and Virtualization Pavilion this year are: • HP • Emulex • SAS • Beyondtrust • TrendMicro • NimbleStorage Moscone South - Booth 2021

 Have a great day!

Tuesday Sep 17, 2013

Performance Issues with Transparent Huge Pages (THP)

One key reason customers choose Oracle Linux is the investment Oracle makes in optimizing Linux for demanding workloads.  Part of this work includes extensive testing for I/O intensive workloads, like the Oracle Database. A common test used at Oracle to measure I/O throughput and performance is the Oracle Orion Calibration Tool, which simulates the I/O workloads of an Oracle Database. Recently, the Oracle Linux team discovered a significant lag in I/O performance, which was later traced to a feature in the Linux kernel, Transparent Huge Pages (also known as THP). During these tests, our engineering teams discovered THP introduced a 30% performance degradation in I/O throughput. When Transparent Huge Pages were removed from the kernel, performance values returned to their expected levels.

Our engineers have been working with the community to identify the root cause of this performance problem, which also impacts other projects, such as Hadoop. Oracle’s kernel engineers have traced the performance issues with Transparent Huge Pages to its use of swappable hugepages. Prior to THP, hugepages were not swappable. It appears the overhead generated by this implementation is the root cause of the deterioration seen in performance when the feature is enabled (compiled) in the kernel. Our kernel engineers are working on several changes to the code which they believe will improve performance with THP, but the final resolution will take time to develop, test and release.

Due to the impact this feature has on performance with applications like the Oracle Database and the timing of a final fix, Oracle Linux will disable Transparent Huge Pages in the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel, beginning with Quarterly Update 5 for the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel, Release 2 (version 2.6.39-400.209.1). To maintain binary compatibility with the Red Hat distribution, the Red Hat Compatible kernel will be left as is, with Transparent Huge Pages enabled. In addition, the Oracle Database team has released an alert recommending all customers disable THP in all Linux systems running RAC and even those systems running single instances, due to instability. Please note that THP is not used by the Oracle Database, the recommendation is to use huge pages. Additional information for huge pages can be found in your Oracle Database documentation or on My Oracle Support.

Our engineers will continue to work with others in the community on a final resolution to the performance issues seen with Transparent Huge Pages. Once a fix is available, we will re-enable this feature in the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel.

Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 2 Quarterly Update 5 has been released

We are pleased to announce the availability of the 5th quarterly update update release for the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 2 (version 2.6.39-400.209.1) for Oracle Linux 5 and Oracle Linux 6.  This release includes driver updates as well as a consolidation of bug fixes and security updates.

 Notable changes include:

  • Xsigo virtual host adapter and network drivers to support Oracle SDN (Software Defined Network), previously known as Xsigo Fabric Accelerator.
  • LSI Fusion-MPT SAS 3.0 driver to support up to 12 Gb/s host controllers.
  • XEN improvements, such as the indirect-descriptor feature, which increases throughput and reduces latency for block I/O.

For additional details, please refer to the release notes.

Binary RPMs can be downloaded and installed using yum from the Unbreakable Linux Network (ULN) as well as Oracle's public-yum server.  The Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel is installed and booted by default on Oracle Linux.  See this article on Oracle Technology Network for details on how to install and update the kernel.

The source code, including the full revision history, is available from Oracle's git repository at https://oss.oracle.com/git/?p=linux-uek-2.6.39.git;a=summary.


        
    

Thursday Aug 29, 2013

Beta 1 of Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 3 now available

We are happy to announce the availability of Beta 1of the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 3 for Oracle Linux 6. The Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 3 (UEK R3) is Oracle's third major release of its heavily tested and optimized operating system kernel for Oracle Linux 6 on the x86_64 architecture. It is based on the mainline Linux version 3.8.13.

The 3.8.13-13 release also updates device drivers and includes bug and security fixes. Some notable improvements in functionality and new features include:

  • Numerous stability and scalability enhancements
  • Inclusion of DTrace 0.4 for Linux into the kernel (no longer a separate kernel image). DTrace for Linux now now supports probes for user-space statically defined tracing (USDT) in programs that have been modified to include embedded static probe points.
  • Btrfs file system improvements (subvolume-aware quota groups, cross-subvolume reflinks, btrfs send/receive to transfer file system snapshots or incremental differences, file hole punching, hot-replacing of failed disk devices)
  • Improved support for Control Groups (cgroups) and Linux containers (LXC).
  • The ext4 file system can now store the content of a small file inside the inode (inline_data).
  • TCP fast open (TFO) can speed up the opening of successive TCP connections between two endpoints.

The Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 3 can be installed on Oracle Linux 6 Update 4 or newer, running either the Red Hat compatible kernel or a previous version of the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel. The UEKR3 beta kernel packages and supporting userland utilities can be installed using the yum package management tool from the public-yum server.

For installation instructions and more details on the new features, changes and any known issues, please consult the Release Notes found on our public beta site.

We've created a dedicated public beta test discussion forum — please join us and share your observations and impressions there!

Tuesday Aug 13, 2013

Oracle Linux at Oracle Openworld 2013 - Update #1

Oracle Openworld San Francisco is only 40 days away so it is time to plan for your sessions and activities. This year's event will be full of excitement with Americas Cup and the Oracle Linux Penguin racing to bring you new and insightful content!.  In this blog, we will talk about the key Oracle Linux sessions, don't forget to add them to your schedule in advance because the Linux sessions get full very quickly. 


  • General Session: Oracle Linux—State of the Penguin (GEN9450)

Monday , Sep 23, 10:45 AM in Westin San Francisco - Metropolitan II

In this session, the Oracle Linux executive team will discuss the strategy, latest product updates, roadmap, key partnerships, competitive landscape, community engagements, and what’s next for Oracle Linux. The session is an opportunity to learn—from the source—the decisions driving Linux development at Oracle. If you are interested in running Linux for your mission-critical applications, especially Oracle workloads, you should not miss this session.

  • Managing Your Oracle Linux Environment (CON9452)

Monday, 9/23, 4:45pm PT, Westin

This session will discuss common methods customers use to manage their Oracle Linux environment, including tips and tricks for patching and provisioning. Whether you prefer to leverage system tools such as YUM with local repositories, open source projects such as Spacewalk, or a full-scale system management solution such as Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c, this session will cover all the different tools available to manage Oracle Linux.

  • Oracle Linux Technical Deep Dive: Reliability, Availability, and Scalability  (Session ID: CON9531)

Tuesday , Sep 24, 10:30 AM in Westin San Francisco - Franciscan

This technical session outlines the key features and enhancements in Oracle Linux, including file systems, Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel, performance enhancements, and high availability. It shows you how Oracle Clusterware can be used with Oracle Linux to make your Linux environment highly available and how you can use it to monitor and manage a variety of applications, such as Web servers or MySQL databases running on your Oracle Linux system.  

  • Why Is Oracle Linux the Best Linux for Running Oracle Database? (CON9543)

Tuesday , Sep 24, 3:45  PM in Westin San Francisco - Franciscan II 

In this session, you will hear from Bank of America as well as from Oracle experts about why Oracle Linux is the best Linux for running Oracle Database workloads. You’ll learn about tools for easy installations, including Oracle VM Templates and validated RPM, and how Bank of America is taking advantage of Oracle Database running on Oracle Linux to minimize the downtime of mission-critical databases, improve performance, and reduce cost.

  • Oracle Linux Troubleshooting: Diagnostics and Best Practices (CON9458)

Wed, 9/25, 10:15am Westin

In this session, learn about the best methods for tuning Linux and get tips, tricks, and techniques for assessing and troubleshooting your Oracle Linux systems. Understand the options available with Oracle Linux, including best practices for configuration and tuning and the introduction of new features for dynamic and static tracing with the DTrace feature of Oracle Linux. Join the Oracle Linux product experts who understand your environment and the tools to keep your data center operating at maximum efficiency.

If you are a developer, you may also want to join this session:

  • Using Oracle Linux As Your Development Platform  (CON9459)

Monday , Sep 23, 3:15 PM in Marriott Marquis - Golden Gate C3

In this session, you will learn about tools available from Oracle that enable you to create a powerful, feature-rich development environment with Oracle Linux. Oracle experts describe their experience and recommended best practices for using familiar tools shipped with Oracle Linux, such as the gcc C/C++ compiler, the gdb debugger, and various tracing tools.  

This is just a sampling of the many sessions you have to choose from. We'll talk more about other sessions you can attend, including hands on labs, and demos in upcoming blog articles. Until then, feel free to have a look through the Content Catalog (search on "Oracle Linux" or other related terms to see what piques your interest!).

Stay tuned for more updates as we count down to Oracle Openworld 2013.

Wednesday Jul 17, 2013

Oracle Continues Linux Leadership with 80% Year over Year Growth for Oracle Linux

Oracle today announced that customers and partners continue to rapidly adopt Oracle Linux to increase the scalability, reliability and performance of their critical applications and systems.

“Epsilon offers a broad array of data-driven, multichannel marketing solutions for many of the biggest brands in the world. Our information systems have been experiencing substantial growth year-over-year, with increased demand for real-time reporting, and high performance transaction processing. To enable customers to interact with a brand in a more dynamic real-time manner, we knew our infrastructure had to be comprehensive, well integrated and scalable. With our Oracle Exadata Database Machines running Oracle Linux, we are achieving transactional processing speeds that were previously not attainable. Oracle’s technologies and world-class support have been instrumental in enabling us to deliver new value-add services and greater efficiency for clients,” said Jeff White, vice president, technology, strategic database services at Epsilon.

Read the full press release for details.


Friday Jun 14, 2013

Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 2 Quarterly Update 4 has been released

We're pleased to announce that the fourth quarterly update release of the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 2 (Version 2.6.39-400.109) for Oracle Linux 5 and 6 has been published. This release includes driver updates as well as fixes for bugs and security issues.

Some notable highlights include:

  • OpenFabrics Alliance (OFED) 1.5.5 Infiniband stack
  • Btrfs bug fixes and improvements
  • Xen improvements
  • Numerous device driver updates (e.g. storage devices, network cards)

For more details, please consult the release notes.

Binary RPMs can be downloaded and installed using yum from the Unbreakable Linux Network (ULN) as well as our public-yum server. The Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel is installed and booted by default on Oracle Linux. See this article on the Oracle Technology Network for details on how to install and update it.

The source code including the full revision history is available from our git repository at https://oss.oracle.com/git/?p=linux-uek-2.6.39.git;a=summary

Monday May 06, 2013

VISIT ORACLE LINUX AT EMC WORLD

We are at EMC World, Las Vegas, May 6-9 !


Come and visit us at Booth #316

Our team will be at Kiosk #1- Data Integrity:  Preventing Silent Data Corruption with Oracle Linux

EMC and Oracle have partnered since 1995, helping over 70,000 customers optimize their Oracle software on EMC virtual infrastructure. One of those partnerships had contributed to development and enhancement of data integrity features. Data corruption can go unnoticed and recovery is difficult and costly, or even impossible. The EMC and Oracle Data Integrity solution protects mission critical application information from corruption and eliminates potential costs and downtime. This is made possible based on tight integration with the T10 PI standard (previously known as Data Integrity Field or DIF), which prevents silent data corruption, ensuring that incomplete and incorrect data cannot overwrite good data. 

Visit us at booth #316 to receive Oracle Linux/Oracle VM DVD Kit, collateral about Data Integrity as well as other goodies.

We will also showcase Oracle VM Storage Connect: The Ease of Managing and Provisioning Storage in Kiosk 2. 

 Register today

Tuesday Apr 09, 2013

Reasons You Should Consider Migrating From SUSE Linux (SLES) to Oracle Linux

Each day we receive inquiries from Oracle customers who are interested in migrating from SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) to Oracle Linux.  As a result, we hosted a webcast to provide additional information for customers who are considering migration and there are a few key points from the webcast I would like to share.

First, I believe all Oracle customers benefit from using Oracle Linux for their Oracle workloads.  Oracle Linux is the corporate Linux standard for all development groups at Oracle.  The Oracle products you use are developed on Oracle Linux.  This development standard creates a natural synergy between Oracle Linux and the Oracle application stack.  Oracle Linux receives over 128,000 hours of testing  from Oracle products, including extensive regression testing, while SLES receives only basic installation testing as an operating system. 

Oracle Linux subscriptions also offer tremendous value.  With Oracle Linux Basic and Premier Support subscriptions you receive 24x7 support, 365 days per year with unlimited incidents. Compared to SLES, Oracle Linux can significantly reduce your operating expenses which translates directly to your bottom line.   Let's take, as an example, a 4-socket system hosting several virtual machines with 24x7 support:

 Oracle Linux Basic Support Subscription
 SLES Priority , 4-socket, Virtual Subscription
 $1,199 annually (per server)
 $3,878 annually (per server)

As you can see in the table, the SLES Priority Subscription list price is $3,878 annually, per server.  For Oracle Linux, the equivalent Basic subscription would be $1,199, about 69% less.   If you had 100 servers in your data center, this would be an annual savings of $267,000!   In addition, the Oracle Linux Basic and Premier Subscriptions include solutions for high availability and system management, at no additional charge.  To receive these features with SLES, you must purchase additional extension subscriptions per server.  Using the previous example, for the SUSE Linux High Availability extension you will pay an additional $1,398 for each 4-socket server in the cluster, per year.  This now represents a 77% savings with Oracle Linux.  If you want to use their system management tools, there is a separately priced extension.  As you can see from the example, the SUSE extension-based pricing model quickly adds up.  With Oracle Linux, our pricing is straightforward and subscriptions include more features, providing greater value for you.

There are also features you will only find with Oracle Linux.  For example, what if I were to tell you Oracle Linux provides all bug and security errata on our public yum repositories and it is free, would you be interested?  With Oracle Linux, you receive:

  1. Free ISO downloads for each major and minor releases
  2. Free software channels for bug fixes and security errata
  3. All source code, including changelogs, for free.  No subscription required.
  4. The ability to freely redistribute without a requirement to modify copyrights, trademarks, or sign additional agreements
  5. Freedom from restrictive support term requirements to cover all systems with subscriptions.  Oracle Linux support is only required for systems that you intend to receive support services for.  Systems that are static, and don't need support (testing, development, etc.) do not have to be covered by a subscription.

With SLES, you can download the product under a 60-day evaluation, but after 60 days you'll need a subscription if you wish to receive any further updates to the software or to access the source for those updates.  You will not have access to the changelogs for the source and if you want to distribute you will need to remove all trademarks, trade dress and logos before doing so.  In addition, depending on your buying program, you may be required to cover every instance of SLES with a subscription, regardless of whether you require support for that system.

There are also unique features for Oracle applications which are offered only with Oracle Linux.  One example is Oracle Database Smart Flash Cache.  Introduced originally with Oracle 11g Release 2, Oracle Database Smart Flash Cache provides the ability to extend the database buffer cache without adding additional main memory by expanding to second level cache on flash memory.  This ability to leverage flash improves Online Transaction Processing (OLTP) environments by improving transaction throughput and application response times.  Oracle Linux is the only Linux distribution with support for this feature. 

Also, have you ever considered what the actual cost is for system downtime in your data center?  Every data center schedules maintenance for production environments and for every maintenance window needed, an administrator must coordinate with multiple groups to plan and schedule downtime.  When you consider large systems, like the Oracle database, the man-hours needed to coordinate, schedule and implement maintenance updates quickly add up.  What if I told you Oracle Linux Premier Support subscriptions include Ksplice, a service for installing kernel updates without requiring a system reboot.  Ksplice eliminates many of the common maintenance scenarios which result in a system restart, allowing administrators to keep up to date with the latest kernel errata, without bringing down the server.

Finally, let's end by talking about support.  As everyone knows, Linux is open source and when you choose to purchase subscriptions for Linux, you are buying access to a vendor's knowledge and expertise.  With Oracle Linux, customers have access to the best support professionals in the industry, who not only understand the operating system but they also understand the Oracle applications running on it.  You will spend less time being shuffled from vendor to vendor when you have a critical issue, producing quicker resolutions for your production systems.

I have highlighted several key reasons why you should consider a migration from SLES to Oracle Linux and I encourage you to  review the materials we have available on the Migration Made Easy web site, where you will find additional tips and guides to get you started.  If you have additional questions or you are ready to talk about your migration, please contact us for more information.


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